An Attitude of Gratitude: Being Content
“Rejoice in the Lord, always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Dickens’ opening lines to A Tale of Two Cities remind us of life’s radical opposites from one situation to the next. In our lives, we have good days and bad days. But, have you ever known someone who seemed to be positive all the time? Even when it wasn’t always the best of times? While I’m sure none of us can navigate life perfectly, there are some who can still find peace and contentment in the worst of times. What’s their secret?
Paul’s letter to the Philippians may provide some answers. The fourth chapter provides one of the most encouraging witnesses to a life of faith. First, Paul encourages the church to “rejoice” and give thanks often. Paul understands the power of gratitude to help us overcome life’s obstacles. Second, Paul encourages the church to find contentment in Jesus Christ. Paul expresses his understanding that there will be good times and bad times. He writes, “I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty” (Phil. 4:12). Paul has his own struggles and challenges to deal with, yet he keeps on working to do what God has called him to do. Paul has discovered the way to find contentment in the best and worst times. And he sums this up with one of our favorite scripture verses: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
This week may be filled with the best and the worst. We may feel dizzy from all the ups and downs. But no matter our predicament, may we seek to find contentment in all we do. Even if we can’t find it on our own, may we remember that Christ is able to give us the strength we need. With an attitude of gratitude, we can stay focused on this truth to give us the peace of mind we need to tackle this week’s challenges. God will see us through!